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Johns Hopkins University Library - Women of the Book



The Women of the Book collection is the world's most extensive gathering of primary research items dedicated to the spiritual lives of European and South American women: nuns, beatae, and female mystics and saints, produced between ca. 1450-1800. The materials are physically held at the Sheridan Libraries of Johns Hopkins University and many of them have been made available here with the support of the Arcadia Fund. 
See the illustrated portfolio document, this article in Johns Hopkins Magazine, and this short documentary video for more information on the collection, on which the Virginia Fox Stern Center for the History of the Book in the Renaissance is currently offering a visiting research fellowship.


(Last updated on 08.18.2021)
 


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Ca. 100 x 75 mm. ff. 78 (penultimate blank leaf canceled, final leaf pasted-down). Bound in contemporary blind-stamped polished brown leather over wooden boards, sewn on two bands. Intact alum tawed medieval bookmark consisting of 4 woven strands sewn together at the top. Vestiges of a strap-and-pin fastening, with the strap missing. Each page has 3 lines of text and music in Hufnagel notation on four-line stave. The colophon reveals that the present pocket processional for major feasts was...
4to. pp. 27. Woodcut rose on title-page. Modern wrappers. Very slightly loss to a few letters on title and p. 1. Sole edition of this sermon preached on the third day of festivities in the Dominican Convent in Lisbon to celebrate the recently beatified Rose of Lima. The text draws on L. Hansen’s biography (which had yet to be translated into Portuguese) to instruct the congregation on the life of the Peruvian saint Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
4to. pp. (20), 480. Contemporary calf. “Au Recollectinnes de Herve(?)”; later stamps of Franciscan convent in Brussels. First edition of this new translation of Gertrude’s Suggestions of Divine Piety, to which the Maurist Benedictine translator, Mège, has added his own digest of Gertrude’s life. Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
4to. pp. (8), 360, (4), plus engraved frontispiece. Contemporary vellum. “Congregation? de Jesus et Marie”. First edition of the first biography of Rose of Lima, the first American saint. A highly desirable piece of Americana, with the often-lacking engraved added title page featuring a portrait of ‘Rosa Peruana’. Later the same year, an octavo edition was also published featuring a much inferior frontispiece Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
8vo. pp. 95. Woodcut of the nuns performing the perpetual adoration on A2 r. Sole edition. Hymns and prayers ‘sung’ by the nuns of a Rouen congregation performing the ‘Perpetual Adoration’. This form of prayer involves participants taking turns to maintain non-stop devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, 24 hours a day Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
Small 4to. pp. (8), 38, (12), plus 6 blanks. Contemporary calf. “Suster Augustina Elisabeth van Langenhoven”. Devotional text after Egidius T'Seggaert's "Gulden Sonnen Wijser" which had already been published in 1623. Attractive manuscript exploring the Passion in 24 episodes, each with a meditation for every hour of the day. The schedule begings at 6am and continues to 5am the following day. “Written for the use of” Johanna Maria Aertssens, and with the ownership inscription...
8vo. pp. (20), 326, (2). Contemporary vellum. First edition of this collection of ‘historical and moral reflections’ presented to the Benedictine nuns of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Verona – a congregation of which little is known. Composed by a Jesuit, the work focuses on illustrious members of the Benedictine Order – including accounts of the lives of no less than 5 different St. Gertrudes: St. Gertrude of Nivelles; St. Gertrude of Franconia; Gertrude of Delft; St. Gertrude of...
8vo. pp. (2), 58, 58 (bis)-247, (8). Bound in contemporary limp vellum, remains of fastenings (binding separating from text block at top joint). Contemporary or early inscriptions to 3rd f.e.p. verso, both in same hand: “De la R.a M.e Sor Juana Teresa de Jesus” and “De la libreria de S.ta Ysabel de los Ang.s.” Later paper place-markers. Manuscript copy of a tract by the important mystic and writer Sor Maria de Jesus, Abbess of Ágreda (1602-1665, born Maria Coronel y Arana), known for...
Folio. pp. (2), 28; pp. 216; pp. 6, (1 terminal blank). With pasted correction slip on title page and seal and manuscript signatures of the 'Sub-Promoters' on final page. Untraced, and a fascinating copy for official internal use, personally signed by the 'Sub-Promoters' of Marianna's beatification. A nun of the Order of Our Lady of Mercy and the Redemption of Captives, the process for Marianna's beatification began in the year of her death. These processes sometimes took centuries; as the...
4to. pp. (16) including engraved portrait, 63. Contemporary cartonnato. Later edition (first, 1652). This edition was brought out by the Abbess and nuns of the Convent of St Sofia, where the remains of Beatrice d'Este I (c. 1192-1226) were venerated. The preface is signed by the Abbess, Suor Quieta. “Her body after death was translated to the church of Santa Sophia at Padua and it was a tradition that when anything important was about to befall the family of Este, she turned in her grave so...
4to. pp. (10), 258, (2), extra-illustrated with 34 engraved plates. 18th C half-calf, rebacked. Flemish captions to plates occasionally trimmed. “De la librarie des Carmelites de Pontrose (?)”. First edition of this French translation of the work above. Puccini’s biography first appeared in 1609, shortly after Pazzi’s death; it was translated here into French in honor of her canonization in 1669. The present copy is certainly interesting: it was interleaved with 34 tri-lingual plates...
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4to. pp. (2), pp. 3-106 in ink; pp. 107-122 in (later?) pencil; pp. 109-149 in ink. ‘Additions’ numbered in early ink in a different hand on pp. 145-148; 149 numbered but left blank, presumably for further additions, reflecting that these constitutions were a work-in-progress. Pp. 103-6 on different sized paper, possibly inserted later but with catchword consistent from pp. 102-3, with much space left blank presumably for additions. Bound in Contemporary vellum. This manuscript offers...
Folio. pp. (44); (12), 228; (12), 229-1154, (2), including two engraved title pages (second signed Petrus Rucholle, depicting scenes from Ursula’s life). Bound in 18th century blindstamped German pigskin with remains of clasps. Ex-libris inscriptions of the Jesuit College in Augsburg dated 1669 and stamp of St. Joseph’s Seminary (NY) on title page. Rare sole edition of this imposing monument to the Ursuline order: a more than 1000-page exposition of the Legend of St. Ursula and the 11,000...
4to. pp. (12), 412, (10). Modern half vellum. Fifth edition (first, 1609). This edition has been augmented with material relating to Pazzi's canonization (which would not take place for another 30 years), and was dedicated to Innocenzia and Mariagrazia Barberini, nieces of Pope Urban VIII Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
174 x 125mm. pp. (5), 37, (5). Original vellum, vellum ties (somewhat defective), title in manuscript on upper cover. Early autograph, first-person account on a ritual-material cultural practice in female monastic life, and therefore a unique item. Present manuscript is written by the Augustinian nun, Metilde Benvenuti (d. 1772), over a period of 40 years detailing her personal/devotional/ curatorial odyssey as keeper of the presepio of her convent, Santa Maria Maddalena in San Gimignano. A...
Third of 5 vols, in 8vo. pp. (10), 592, (30), including 10 full-page engraved plates. Bound in contemporary gilt-stamped vellum, all edges gilt. Early inscription of the Discalced Augustinian Convento of San Nicola Tolentino in Rome on title page; small red stamps on rear endpaper of St. Hyacinth Seminary, Granby, Massachusetts. Cruz’s work adapts the teachings of St Paul the Apostle and Thomas Aquinas’ accompanying commentary to the tenets of Teresa of Avila’s famously personal religion,...
8vo. pp. (16), 414, (6), plus engraved frontispiece and 29 plates signed G[erard] de Groos after [Christian] Dittmann. Bound in contemporary blind-ruled calf. Contains shelfmark, and a contemporary manuscript approbation on a2 (“dies Buch ist erlaubt / Mater Anna Carolina”). Very rare sole edition of this compendium of 42 Ursuline biographies with lively engravings. There was a marked resurgence in Ursuline activities during the seventeenth century, notably in German-speaking lands. As...
First edition. Folio, pp. (16) 798, 198 (18) (lacking final blank). Fully engraved pictorial title page by Jean Baugin. Full-page engraved portrait of St. Augustine striking heretics with thunderbolts at end of prelims., by the same. Bound in 18th-century half-vellum and wood-marbled paper boards, Stamps of St. Hugh’s, Parkminster (founded in 1873 to house French Carthusians in exile), an earlier stamp of “J.M.J.L.A. Petit P.M.S.” First edition, a rare and extensive historical compendium...
4to. pp. (28), 300, (16), plus engraved portrait; (2), 404, (24). Contemporary calf. Dutch nun's inscription dated 1704; later French inscription of a 'Madame Marie Dams'. First edition of the first two parts of this biography and letters of an important Flemish mystic. “Together with a fellow nun [Petyt] moved to a cell in Mechelen, which soon became the centre of a group of like-minded women. Around 1662 she began her voluminous autobiography, modeled on the Autobiography of Saint Teresa of...
Johns Hopkins University Library - Women of the Book
by Sheridan Libraries, Johns Hopkins University
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Women of the Book – Overview of the Collection – 08-18-2021   For clickable links to the currently available individual digital surrogates (in the Bib# column of the table): please download the pdf version of this document.   Alternatively, insert the correct Bib# in https://archive.org/details/wotb_Bib# (e.g., https://archive.org/details/wotb_6743744).  
Topics: religion, women, rare books, medieval, Christian art and symbolism
4to. pp. (14), 202, (3), (1 terminal blank), plus full-page engraved portrait, and with engraved papal arms on title page, etc. “Margherita Caterina del ????, 1777”; “Di Gio. Antonio Tomei, 1784”. First edition. Probably the only contemporary printed source recorded on the life of Bianca Teresa Bonvisi (1654-1714), an Italian noblewoman drawn to religion following the deaths of her children. In the engraving Bonvisi is depicted in a plain, nun-like habit simply holding a large crucifix,...
8vo. pp. 388, (182-388 blank save for borders, ruling and pagination). Bound in contemporary red morocco, gilt with paneled sides and spine, gilt edges, red and white silk endpapers (a pair of each, the latter with painted pink borders), broad silk markers, inserted prints. Pink ruled borders and pagination. 34 devotional prints (all but two engraved, the others woodcut) bound in. The personal record of the spiritual devotions and exercises of a novice priest in pre-Revolutionary France, with...
8vo. pp. (16), 560. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, remains of ties to lower board, title inked to lower edge and spine; small area of loss at head of spine. Full-page woodcut of the Annunciation (p. 405), 14 small woodcuts of scenes from the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary. Title in red and black with printer’s device, initials, head- and tail-pieces. Inscription to half title ‘ex libris Gregorii de Gregoriis’. Scarce second edition of this spiritual guide for nuns, novices, and...
8vo. ff. (24), slightly later MS foliation to “23” (skipping f. 20). Bound in late 19th-century English tan calf or sheep, gilt edges, bound with 17 blank leaves at end. Title printed in red above woodcut of St. Catherine within three-part border composed of woodcut and typographic strips and ornaments. Gothic and roman types, red & black printing, one woodcut initial. Signature of R. D. Dyneley on front flyleaf; book label of William O’Brien (1832-1899); bequeathed to the Jesuits at...
8vo. pp. (8) including engraved title page, 400. Bound in contemporary yap-edged vellum. Ex libris and ex legato of Wilhem Ludwig Bennz in lower margin of title page and on pastedown, the latter dated Eichstadt, 1683. Very rare sole edition of this life of Mary Magdalene, the penitent prostitute and most important female follower of Christ, and illustrated with a suite of 9 unsigned engravings. Stengel devotes only a few pages in Chapter I to discussions of Mary’s life as a prostitute before...
ff. (108) [last 45 blank]. Bound in contemporary vellum. Manuscript executed in brown ink, supplemented or continued at various times judging by discontinuous stroke thicknesses etc. On laid paper, watermarked G. N. [?] with two birds in a circle, and with folds to denote margins. Neapolitan bookseller’s ticket (F. Casella) on pastedown, dated 10th May 1926; enclosed postcard of Bolognese bookseller Orfeo Vigarani with reference notes on Suor Giulia (ca. 1980?). Unique (?) witness of this...
4to. pp. 8, with two manuscript leaves tipped-in at end. Bound in nineteenth century black calf-backed marbled boards, title in gilt on spine. Rare account of the liturgy and festivities surrounding the canonization of five saints at St Peter’s in Rome in 1671 by Pope Clement X, including the third superior general of the Jesuits, Saint Francis Borgia, and Saint Rose of Lima, the first person born in the Americas to be canonized. The ceremonies took place on April 12th, 1671, in the presence...
Thick 4to. [22.4 x 17.2 cm], 2 parts in 1, with divisional title page, pp. (32), 484 ; (4), 485-865, [1 integral blank]. Including full-page engraved frontispiece by Suor Isabella Piccini depicting a barefoot Teresa seated with quill in hand, whip and skull on her side table, receiving inspiration from the Holy Spirit. 18th century manuscript inscription of the Discalced Hieronymites of Treviso on title page, alongside a later 18th or 19th century stamp of the ‘Conventus Carmel. Discal....
Small 4to. pp. (2), 34. Modern wrappers. Sole edition, unrecorded in OCLC or the CCFR. A fascinating document which cannot be traced in any other survival: an early biography of the deceased Princess Louise of France, composed by her fellow Carmelite Therese de Jesus, who signs the work at the end. The fact that it bears a confusing imprint (“Paris, et se trouvent [...] à Gand”) may indicate it was not officially sanctioned. As a daughter of the philandering Louis XV, Louise was drawn to...
8vo. pp. 264 including engraved frontispiece; pp. 328. Contemporary vellum. Third edition (first, 1760-61). St Alfonso Liguori’s important text codified the anti-Enlightenment ideal of the Christian woman, both cloistered and secular Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
4to. pp. (16), 123, (3). With engraved portrait of Rita on title page. 18th C patterned boards with vellum spine. First edition of the first biography of Rita da Cascia, the patron saint of impossible causes, abused wives, and heartbroken women. The victim of an abusive husband, Rita managed not only to convert her vicious spouse into an observant Catholic, but also to quell the blood feud which had been plaguing his family. Composed long before her beatification, the title-page nevertheless...
12mo. pp. 233, (3), (1 integral blank). With engraved title page and 14 full-page engraved plates in text. Contemporary calf. “S. Maria de Roy, met orlof der Moeder”. First edition. A charming pocket-format Life of St. Clare, one of the first followers of St Francis, and founder of the Order of the Poor Clares. The work is dedicated to Sister Joanna Sersanders, Abbess of the convent of the Poor Clares in Brussels. Printed by the widow of Cnobbaert, the work is illustrated with 14 rather...
4to. pp. (4), 46, (2). Contemporary marbled wrappers. Stamp of a French Franciscan library (?). First edition of an elaborate production to celebrate the entry of Princess Louise-Marie into the Carmelite convent of St Denis. The present copy is the luxury quarto edition; a duodecimo edition was also published in the same year. As a daughter of the philandering Louis XV, Louise was drawn to religion at an early age. Her father however, intended her for a political marriage; it was only after...
4to. pp. 28, with woodcut of St Francis to title page. Bound in contemporary mottled calf, green silk place marker. 19th-century noble private library shelf label to front pastedown. An apparently unrecorded order of service for the admission of women to the Capuchin convent at Turin, providing instructions for the woman being admitted and for the officiating priest on the ceremonial to be followed, as well as the words to be spoken and sung by each and by the nuns attending the ceremony. The...
4to. pp. XII, 511, (8), plus engraved portrait. Contemporary calf. Ex-libris of Migel Martinez. Third edition, enlarged with an account of the progress of the nun's beatification process. Inés de Benigánim was born to a poor family and suffered from epilepsy as a child. At the age of 13 she had a vision of Christ, and rejected a marriage proposal in order to follow her dream of entering a convent – of the Discalced Augustinians in Benigánim. The first edition was published in 1715 and...
8vo. pp. (24), 151. Contemporary calf. “????? Ord Praed”. There is another edition of the same year by the heirs of Jan vanden Kerchove. This work is a fascinating tirade against the ‘great plague of Christendom’, i.e. vanity, indecency, and the excess of women’s clothing and jewelry Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
4to. pp. (18), 390, (2), plus engraved frontispiece. Contemporary sheep. “Marie Gabriela”. Sole edition of this German translation of the French original ('Sainte Ursule Triomphante des Coeurs, de l'Enfer, de l'Empiree, et Patrone du Celebre College de Sorbonne,' 1666), the first significant study of the cult of St Ursula and the 11,000 virgins. “Ursula, the daughter of a Christian king of Great Britain, was asked in marriage by the son of a great pagan king. Desiring to remain a virgin,...
Large 4to. pp. (10), 615, (1), plus engraved portrait. Contemporary vellum. “Di frat. Giuseppe Maria ?????”. First edition of the first Italian biography of Rose of Lima. The engraved portrait frontispiece (sometimes lacking) depicts her holding a Christ child, symbolizing her spiritual marriage Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
8vo. pp. (16) including engraved title, 175, (3), including 12 engraved plates. 19th C boards. Stamps of a Redemptorist congregation. Sole edition, unrecorded. A charming pocket guide to the ‘science of prayer’, derived from the life and works of Teresa of Avila. Topics covered include correct methods for both spoken and silent prayer; how to deal with ‘distractions’ during prayer; and even a guide to the practice of ‘ejaculatory prayer’ (involving strong yelps). A section at the...
8vo (175 x 107 mm). (1 leaf), pp. “174” [i.e., 178], (2). Manuscript on paper, frontispiece pen-and-ink drawing of the crucifixion with inset of Adam and Eve. Illustrated with fifteen highly finished drawings. Bound in contemporary Viennese or Bohemian gold-tooled brown calf. A consummately illustrated calligraphic manuscript by a Viennese calligrapher, mathematician, educator at the Savoyisch Liechtensteinschen Akadamie in Vienna, and member of the Piarist order. Containing selected...
Sammelband in small 4to, bound in nineteenth-century block printed wrappers. [1:] pp. 15, (1).Woodcut vignette to title and tailpiece to last page of text. [2:] pp. 32, (1). Woodcut vignette to title, woodcut headpiece and initial. A handful of pages with ink marks from printing. First and only editions of these two defenses of the controversial words pronounced by the mystic Saint Catherine of Genoa (1447–1510), the former apparently unrecorded and written by a theologian who would soon...
ff. (1). Discussing the inheritance left by Bianca Teresa Massei Bonvisi (1654-1714), an Italian noblewoman drawn to religion following the deaths of her children. Bonvisi was a wealthy widow who sponsored her own hospital. This manuscript relates to the years 1726-1728, with notes on the wealth left to the Ospedale della Carita di Lucca. Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
Large 4to. pp. (XVI), 216, 176, plus 3 engraved plates signed by [Tomasso] Piroli. Bound in contemporary vellum over boards. Red wax ex-librises on front pastedown and final leaf, most likely a cardinal’s arms. Very rare sole edition of the first ‘official’ biography of Suor Veronica Giuliani (1660-1727), prepared from the documents used in her beatification process by the promoter of her cause, Giovanni Giacomo Romano. There seems to have been a flurry of interest in Giuliani – whose...
4to. pp. (12), 109, (3). Bound in 18th-century vellum boards. Woodcut vignette to title page of St. Catherine of Alexandria before the Virgin and Child with motto ‘Reddet coronam Dominus’, small woodcut of Virgin and Child to p. (9), p. (12) with woodcut of Virgin with Child adored by angels surrounded by 16 small woodcuts, four being of the Evangelists and the other 12 being scenes from Mary’s life. Another woodcut of Virgin and Child (the Virgin crowned by angels) to p. 29 with same...
4to. ff. 8, 12. Reused vellum, probably 19th century, spine lettered in ink. Contemporary marginal annotations on text, giving us an immediate sense of a Peruvian reader’s first reactions to the life of this female celebrity visionary and mystic. Engraved bookplates on front pastedown of C. Cruz Montt and of Ricardo Staudt, book collector. First edition of an extremely rare text (one of 4 known copies worldwide) on the life and deeds of Sor Ana de los Angeles, active in the volcano-lined...
Folio. pp. 17, (1 integral blank). Modern boards. Sole edition, recorded in just one other copy at the University of Barcelona. A legal petition defending the right of the Prioress and nuns of the Convent of Santa Maria de Junqueras in Barcelona to elect their own officers and abide by their own rules, without outside interference. Wealthy and powerful convents were often the flashpoints of conflict over the role of the local ecclesiastical or political authorities in controlling their...
Large 8vo. pp. (285), with a further (24) pages of accounts appended, and with a few additional blanks. Bound in contemporary marbled paper wrapper. Ink on paper. This substantial autograph manuscript records a pilgrimage made from Rome in April and May 1771 to visit the shrine of the Holy House of Loreto by a group of 26 Roman Catholic lay brothers, members of the Archconfraternity of St. Mary of the Oration and Death. These brothers were mainly occupied with charitable work through the...
Johns Hopkins University Library - Women of the Book
by de Bare d'Audenarde, Marie T. (Marie Therese) ; et al.
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Various formats, housed in a clamshell box. “Ce livre appartient a Marie Therese de Bare l'audenarde, Pensionnaire chez les Dames Ursulines a Valenciennes, 1777”. Remarkable archive giving a picturesque view of the life of a demoiselle pensionnaire during the Ancien Regime and into the tumultuous Revolutionary period. Convents often served as schools for young girls in France, called 'demoiselles pensionnaires'. Marie-Therese de Bare, of the nearby city of Audenarde, happened to attend the...
8vo. ff. 39. Bound in modern vellum. With the printer's mark of the press of the monastery of the "Convertite" depicting Mary Magdalene in prayer with her long, wild tresses draped over her body. She is borne aloft by angels while being adored by four nuns of the convent. An extremely rare book, one of only 25 works printed in Venice at the Augustinian monastery of Santa Maria Maddalena, and a fine example of a book printed by women. The "Convertite" were mostly prostitutes...
4to. pp. (2), 3-24. Disbound, loosely enclosed in mid-20th century brown wrappers. Woodcut arms of dedicatee on title-page. Old bookseller’s stamp on title-page of Gi[ac?]omo Giuseppe. Fourth recorded copy of a remarkable pamphlet authored by the Abbess of the Benedictine Convent of San Giovanni Evangelista on the tiny island of Torcello in Venice, stating the case for her own convent’s claim to the true relics of a somewhat apocryphal virgin martyr, St. Barbara of Nicomedia. A rival claim...
Aprox. 75 letters, mostly one or two sides, often bound with additional address sheets. Remarkable research collection, being a large quantity of testimonials and other supportive correspondence from various local figures to Alessandro Capizucchi (1641-1703), the nephew (by adoption) of Giacinta Marescotti, a local nun noted for her piety. Alessandro was evidently responsible for promoting his aunt's beatification process. The letters are all original documents rather than secretarial copies,...
4to. pp. 64, p. 55 blank, by accident? Contemporary wrappers. Sole edition, unrecorded. A charming example of the festive poetry produced on these occasions Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
Small folio, ff. 19. Manuscript on paper written in a neat German cursive script, original green paste-paper boards. An apparently unpublished biography of Kunigunde of Austria (1465-1520), the well-educated sister of Emperor Maximilian I and wife of Duke Albrecht IV of Bavaria, who later turned into a nun. The final leaf contains a postscript with notes on the ancestors and siblings of Duke Albrecht IV. The execution of our manuscript, dated 1796, was carried out at a time in which the...
4to. pp. (46). With final blank. Large woodcut armorial of dedicatee to p. (3), woodcut initials. Damage to last leaf. Only edition of this rare sermon celebrating the recent canonization of the first American saint, Rosa of Lima, (1586-1617), given at the Dominican female convent of Santa Catalina de Siena in Mexico City on 30 August 1671. Rosa had been canonized on 12 April of that year. The sermon delivered to the nuns appears florid, allusive and meditative. The author discusses and...
Oblong folio [36.5 x 33.5 cm]. Title and 11 plates printed on thick, unwatermarked paper, each featuring three distinct scenes in the saint’s life. Bound in contemporary blue cardboard naïvely decorated on front cover, with attribution to ‘Franciscus Veynnius’. Very rare suite of plates illustrating the life and miracles of St. Catherine of Siena, engraved by the Flemish master Pieter de Jode I after the murals of Francesco Vanni completed on the walls of the Chapel of Saint Catherine in...
Source: folio
4to. pp. (1), 167. Disbound neatly written manuscript in brown ink in a single hand, occasional corrections. Remains of sewing supports to spine. An attractive manuscript recording the rules and constitutions for Dominican nuns in Italy in the early eighteenth century, most likely compiled by a new member of the order for her own personal use. Divided into 45 chapters the text covers the rule of St Augustine; the canonical hours; adoration of the Holy Sacrament; confession; suffrages for the...
8vo. pp. (15) including engraved portrait, 24-438, (2), (38), (2), plus two engraved plates. Contemporary red morocco, richly gilt. Early edition (first, 1654). All editions are rare. A Benedictine Abbess of the Carolingian period, Opportuna's sanctity was not expressed in charismatic actions during her lifetime, during which she effected no miracles. After her death, however, visitors to her tomb affirmed her intercession in human affairs. In one instance, a peasant stole a donkey from the...
8vo. pp. (20), 41 [i.e. 45]; pp. 98, (6); pp. xxvi. First edition, and a fine copy. A very scholarly working of the Life of St Genevieve, providing a chronology as well as a biography and an account of her legacy after her death. A Latin Vita is included at the rear, supposedly a transcription of an account written just 18 years after her death in the 6th century. The translation is by Père Pierre Lallemant. The work is dedicated to a new Order, the Canons Regular of St. Genevieve, founded ca....
8vo. pp. 96. Modern boards covered with old manuscript antiphonal. Large woodcut Crucifixion to title. Rare edition of "Le Sette armi Spirituali" (The Seven Spiritual Weapons), the chief work of the Italian mystic and artist Saint Catherine of Bologna, the patron saint of painters.  Caterina de’ Vigri (1413-1463), founder and abbess of a convent of Poor Clares in Bologna, wrote works of mysticism, visions and devotion, and was a highly accomplished illuminator and painter. Prior...
Manuscript on paper (280x205 mm) made of two loose but consecutive bifolia. Pp. (8) [ro. of p. (7) blank, vo. of p. (7) is title page] The recto of p. 7 is a blank, the verso is a blank but for the title (‘Report of the inauspicious case of two converted nuns who left the monastery Bologna and were found strangled in a cellar'). The anonymous author of the report writes in a rather crude and elementary Italian, but he is nevertheless able to tell in detail and with effectiveness this sordid...
8vo. 3 printed works + 1 MS in 1 vol. pp. 63 (1); pp. 104; 94 (2); pp. 61 (3). Woodcut vignettes to title-pages and woodcut borders to all pages. First work with woodcut portrait to verso of title page of St. Jeanne de Valois and, to last page, of St. Francis receiving the Stigmata. Inscription to title page, in same hand as writer of manuscript at back, “Desen Regel is tot gebruÿck van Suster Marie van Auwermeulen soo lanck alst haer oversten belieft” (“Sister Marie van Auwermeulen can...
ff. (40), numbered 51-90. Unbound. Lower corner of text illegible due to water damage throughout. Lengthy petition, apparently relating to the authority of Donna Tommasa Mendoza de Sandoval, Widow del Bosco, over two nuns at the (Olivetan?) Convent of Monte Oliveto in Palermo, Sicily. The nuns' convent fees will apparently be paid by del Bosco Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
12mo. pp. (24) including added engraved title page, 534, (18). Contains faded and canceled ownership inscription (Maria ...). Contemporary sheep with 2 clasps. Sole edition of this German translation, following the French original of 1634. The work features two separate dedications to both St Bridget herself and the nuns of her order. With a fine engraved title-page of Bridget shaking hands with Christ Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
[1:] 8vo. pp. (2), 3-139. Bound in with supplementary material from the 1641 edition, paginated 135-231, (17). Extremely rare second edition (first, 1625) of the first biography of a celebrated early 17th-century female mystic, Catherine de Jesus (1589-1623) composed by her convent companion Madeleine de Saint-Joseph (1578-1637). Catherine started experiencing visions from a young age, practiced ascetism and, was admitted to the Parisian Discalced Carmelite convent in 1608. In 1617 she was...
8vo. pp. (13), 194. Large printer’s emblem of a Sacred Heart on title-page, with a full-page woodcut of Teresa of Avila presenting her book to Christ on verso of title-page (captioned in Dutch). [Bound with Jerónimo Gracian’s Conceptos del Divino Amor […], published in the same year by the same printer. 8vo. pp. (16), 248, with large printer’s emblem of a Sacred Heart on title-page, and a full-page woodcut of Teresa of Avila presenting her book to Christ on verso of a8 (as above).]...
4to. pp. (2) 114 (6). Bound in contemporary marbled calf, decorated cover borders, spine gilt, morocco label (probably originally green) stamped in gilt, slight loss at head of spine. Book of chants with music for the Ursuline convent of Grenade-sur-Garonne, written out by a nun, “Sœur St. Jean,” who was likely a school teacher, as the Ursuline sisters of Grenade ran a school attended by about sixty girls. Sœur St. Jean used several colors and stencils, and had the book nicely bound....
Johns Hopkins University Library - Women of the Book
by [Dauxon, Claire A. (Claire Angelique)]
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Manuscript, one volume (21.5 cms. x 16 cms.), 279 pages of writing (pp. 1-2 (4) 3-70, 72-94, (1 blank), 95-277) + a 13-line note tipped onto front pastedown in a different hand. With a four-page addition in another (third) hand. One short note slipped in at p. 240, in this hand as well. Bound in contemporary dark brown calf, spine gilt. The text and addition are written in fair hands, without significant crossings out. The paper for the tipped-in note had a strip torn away, removing text from...
8vo. pp. (2 blank), (25), (9 blank); Manuscript on paper in recent brown wrappers, title inked to upper cover. Neatly written in dark brown ink in a single hand. An apparently unpublished, fictionalized letter from a nun by the name of ‘Elisa R’ recounting her experiences during and after the suppression of her convent to her friend ‘Belisa’. The suppression of Italian monasteries followed the French invasion of Italy in 1797, affecting the Roman Republic, Cisalpine Republic, and the...
8vo. pp. (18), 207, (5), plus added engraved title page and portrait. Contemporary vellum. Second Flemish translation (first, 1632), dedicated to the Discalced Carmelite convent in Brussels. The Spanish original was published in Brussels in 1632, and was followed swiftly by French and Flemish translations. Such translations were necessitated by the fact that Anne was the founder of the convent in Brussels, where she died in 1626 Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
4to. pp. (16), 192; pp. (4), 128; pp. (4), 159; pp. (4), 198, plus engraved title and 12 engraved plates by Jan Luyken. Contemporary boards, rebacked. First edition. A sensational illustrated compendium of women who 'met unfortunate ends' – most of them within a religious setting. Among the subjects we find three of Henry VIII's wives; Martin Luther's wife; 'Magdalena of Japan'; Pope Joan; and hundreds of other lesser-known women from ancient times to the 17th century Click here to view the...
ff. (2). Written on behalf of Abbess Leonora de Givenio, apparently accusing a certain Nicolo Jacopo Gemai and another man (?). On the 20th of ???, “the aforementioned accused, armed and violent, without fear (?) of God and righteousness” made their way into the convent, where they proceeded to cut down and uproot a number of fruit trees, destroying or making off with 2,000 fruits Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.
4to. pp. (8). Marbled paper spine. Unrecorded. This touching publication is a poetical tribute to the daughter of a nobleman. The girl apparently died at a young age and is celebrated specifically for her piety – an unusual angle in a strictly Lutheran community like Stralsund (in Swedish Pomerania). The contributions come from ‘good parishioners and friends’ and include, for example, a poem on ‘the jubilant celebrations in Heaven for the deceased girl’ Click here to view the Johns...
Johns Hopkins University Library - Women of the Book
by Henry, Jehan
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8vo., ff. (224), including final blank. 18th-century mottled calf. Colophon printed in a cruciform X-shape. Flourished contemporary signature at end (De cannes?), deleted annotations in lower margins of first quire and on final blank leaf; 12 [symbol for livres tournois], 3940, purchase note on verso of front free endpaper; inscribed lot number "759" shows that the present copy was sold in 1767 by one of the greatest book collectors in the world, the Duc de La Vallière (1708-1780)....
12mo. pp [xii], 131, [1]. Engraved portrait of Mlle. Ranquet (outer edge trimmed with loss). 19th-century green calf-backed marbled boards, gilt-lettered spine with a crowned cipher at the base. First Edition of this fugitive biography. Parisian by birth, deeply spiritual by nature, Elizabeth (1618-54) abandoned her wish for an austere celibate conventual life and followed her husband to live on his estate in rural Normandy. A friend of her father and professor at the Collège d’Harcourt,...
4to. pp. (33), (3). Contemporary wrappers. Sole edition. A collection of poetry and songs celebrating the entry of Maria Lucrezia Suares, “whose noble coat of arms has five golden shells on a blue field” into the Convent of St. Agatha in Florence Click here to view the Johns Hopkins University catalog record.